It has become increasingly common for people in relationships to cohabitate with one another without getting married. Couples have many reasons to do this: maybe there are financial considerations, or maybe they just don’t like the societal implications of marriage. Whatever the reason, they may feel precluded from seeking couples’ therapy, believing that it is just for those who are married.
However, this is a misconception. Any committed couple may encounter relationship problems whether they are married or not. Furthermore, couples therapy is not just for addressing any problems that you are having now, it is also for preventing issues that may arise and escalate.
Whether you are married now, plan to get married in the future, or have no interest in marriage ever, you can potentially benefit from couples’ therapy. Here are a few reasons why you should at least consider it.
1. Discuss Role Expectations
Both members of a relationship have roles to play. The problem is that your expectations for your own role and that of your partner may not match up with what your partner has in mind. Couples’ therapy provides an opportunity to discuss these expectations in a safe environment so that you each know where you stand.
2. Learn To Resolve Conflicts
Even the most loving and devoted couples occasionally have conflicts with one other. Sometimes they start small and escalate to something that could potentially disrupt the relationship. Couples’ therapy gives you tools you can use to resolve those conflicts constructively so that they do not put the relationship in jeopardy.
3. Identify Issues Related to Family of Origin
Regardless of the relationship you have with your family of origin, the context in which you grew up has shaped you as a person in ways that you might not even fully realize. The same is true for your partner. This can mean problems for your relationship if one of you was exposed to familial conflict in your transformative years that may have affected your understanding of how to relate to others. Relational conflict can be a cyclical pattern, but couples’ therapy can help you to break the cycle.
4. Strengthen Communication Skills
Communication is vital to a successful relationship, and much more complicated than many people realize. Yes, it involves talking and listening to one another, but it also involves learning to see the other person’s perspective and validate his or her position. Communication is a skill, and like any skill, it requires practice in order to improve at it.
These are not all the potential benefits of relationship therapy for unmarried couples, but they are a few of the most important. Contact our office for more information or to make an appointment with a therapist in Palatine, IL. You will be treated with respect and nonjudgment.
Thanks to Lotus Wellness Center for their insight into wellness and health.